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Leggett Names Climate Change Task Force

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) announced today he is establishing a task force to help the county coordinate programs aimed at cutting down on the county's carbon footprint.

"We want to make sure Montgomery County becomes a leader," he said at a press conference announcing the task force.

Leggett named 26 people to the panel, which will be co chaired by Department of Environmental Protection director Bob Hoyt and former Maryland environment chief Jane Nishida. Nishida served in the administration of Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) and now works on environmental issues at the World Bank.

The task force, whose nominees must be approved by the County Council, also includes Marc Chupka, who authored a Climate Change Action plan during the Clinton administration, and an array of local environmental activists and representatives of environmentally focused non-profits, as well as business officials from Marriott, Pepco Holdings, and IDI Group, a major developer in Montgomery County.

In addition, the panel includes representatives of the county's planning department, the public schools, and Montgomery College and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. It is expected to begin its work in September.

Council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac, Bethesda) who recently won approval of a package of climate change bills, said the task force will be key to ensuring that the county "meets our goals and sets targets." Like many jurisdictions in the Washington region, Montgomery County has failed to meet standards for clean air compliance for several years.

Hoyt, who took over as the county's environment chief six months ago, said that the county has an array of programs, but "what is abundantly clear to me is we have to do more."

By Anne Bartlett  |  July 21, 2008; 3:23 PM ET
Categories:  Miranda Spivack  
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Why didn't Leggett asppoint a 26 member task force to figure out how we could avoid a 14% property tax increase this year and another big one next year?

Posted by: Priorities? | July 21, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Dear Robin Ficker,

Isn't it nice that the prestigious Washington Post Corporation gives you the opportunity to post anonymous blog posts (like the one above)? I wonder why the Washington Post Corporation allows itself to tarnish its brand identity by opening up its web site for anonymous nonsense like the stuff you post?

Love anonymous blog posts and love

Posted by: love anonymous blog posts | July 21, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

This is an appropriate step if Montgomery County is as serious in deeds as in words. The climate and the necessary reduction in fossil fuel addition are becoming necessary considerations in more and more government decisions. This is not really a bold step as it once would have been considered. Hopefully this movement will have teeth.

Posted by: Donny | July 21, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

We need a task force to study how we can reduce the county's bugetary footprint. Over reliance on imported oil is a country-wide problem. Over reliance on tax increases is a problem unique to Montgomery County that needs to be studied in depth. Leggett says he has a $240 million deficit in a budget next year that increases 8% over this year. Of course, if his budget increased 14%, the deficit would be ever larger. His 14% property tax increase this year has caused hundreds of foreclosures and priced thousands out of the countyu housing market.

Posted by: So, if it is in the papers we get a task force? | July 22, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

We have thousands in the federal government being paid to study and combat climate change. But nobody is studying or combating tax increases and ballooning budgets in Montgomery County.

Posted by: Right on! | July 22, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Lets face it. Since Bush and Cheney took over the federal government, most of our EPA and NASA dollars have gone to muzzling climate scientists and editing out climate change facts out of official reports.

Posted by: Donny | July 22, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Most of our EPA and NASA dollars? How many dollars do EPA and NASA spend all together? What muzzling? What editing?

Posted by: What muzzling? What editing? | July 23, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

When I was out running this morning, I gagged when a rideon bus belched a massive black cloud of smoke in my face. *ack! ack!* You will forgive me for not thinking the county government is to be counted on for cleaner air.

Posted by: no smoking on the bus please | July 23, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

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